Climate change has become one of the greatest concerns for many people, cultures and nations around the world. However, has the media influenced and/or shaped our views on climate change? Providing false accusations, loose evidence, strong opinions adopting one side of an argument or adopting both sides of an argument, leaving the audience confused. The predisposed views on climate change as communicated through the media can be strongly misleading.
FOX News, a global icon of world news, also owned by Rupert Murdoch, is just one example of a news oligopoly whose views on climate change deny all scientific facts, without backing up their own evidence on the false accusations of global warming. Below are some FOX news reports, denying any means of global warming:
Gavin, N (2009) elaborates that news media are able to successfully influence individuals based on their “media influence’, ‘journalistic practice’ and ‘the adequacy of coverage”(p767). Society, in particular America, invests a significant amount of trust in FOX news and the extent to which citizens are dependent on them for information is considerable.
FOX News is also guilty of providing “false balance”.
‘Telling “both” sides of the story – can actually be a form of informational bias’ … ‘he said / she said reporting has allowed a small group of global warming sceptics to have their views greatly amplified’ (Boykoff, J & M, 2004).
Headlines including “Human-caused climate change”, “Temperatures to rise” and “Caribbean Water Supply Threatened by Climate Change” are just a few reports by FOX News providing facts that evidently deny their previous reports on climate change. This causes much confusion for viewers and once again, provides informational bias.
But what about those “who have done least to cause climate change, but who are affected most severely by it”? (Robinson, M 2007). Because of these large oligopoly news reports only being concerned with persuading society’s views and profit, they have forgotten to reveal stories of those being heavily affected by it.
Small island states such as Tuvalu, have been disregarded in terms of climate change in news media. However, they are most affected! Unfortunately these small pacific islands are exposed to impacts of climate change, freshwater contamination by saltwater, coastal erosion, inundation and risks to food security
Large news companies such a FOX news need to get their priorities straight. Is it more important to convince society that climate change is a sham? Or is it more important to inform the rest of the world on those areas evidently being affected by it? In turn making climate change a real-life issue that needs to be addressed!
Boycoff, J & Boycoff, M 2004, ‘Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias’, Fair, accessed 29/09/2013, http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/Journalistic-Balance-as-Global-Warming-Bias/
Dreher, T 2006, Global Crisis: Global News, lecture, BCM111 International Media and Communication, University of Wollongong, delivered 23 September
Fox News, accessed 29/09/2013, http://www.foxnews.com/?q=climate%20change#refresh
Gavin, N. 2009, “Addressing climate change: a media perspective”, Environmental Politics, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 767
YouTube 2011, Tuvalu vs. Global Warming, accessed 29/09/2013, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZUunoZtfC0